Why Were FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption Charges? Let John Oliver Explain

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Ben Cohen
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Even if soccer ('football' to rest of the world) isn't your cup of tea, you've probably heard that international organizing body FIFA (The Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet. So corrupt in fact that top ranking officials were unceremoniously arrested today by Swiss authorities in a 5 star hotel to be extradited to the US on federal corruption charges.  From The New York Times:

ZURICH — Swiss authorities conducted an extraordinary early-morning operation here Wednesday to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges.

As leaders of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plainclothes Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel, an elegant five-star property with views of the Alps and Lake Zurich. They went to the front desk to get room numbers and then proceeded upstairs.

The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.

The charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals.

If you want to get an idea of just how mindblowingly corrupt the multi-billion dollar organization is, check out Jon Oliver's hilarious but jaw dropping explanation of the inner workings of FIFA last year: